MEN'S BUYING GUIDE
An engagement ring symbolizes the love and commitment one has for another. It is also one of the most significant jewelry purchases one will ever make. That being said, it is important to understand the fundamentals of buying an engagement ring.
First off, determine what you’d like to spend on an engagement ring. This will help narrow the diamond and engagement ring search. You might find that you can spend less than you initially thought and still get a ring that you're happy with, or in some cases, you may end up stretching your budget a bit to purchase an engagement ring you know she’ll love.
While you're selecting an engagement ring, you want to make sure that it represents your girlfriend’s taste and personality. In most cases, she’ll want to have a say in her ring. If you’d like to keep the element of surprise, consider speaking with her closest friends and family discreetly. Another option is to turn to social media. Every girl has liked, commented, or shared a photo of a ring she believes is perfect. All in all, you want to be sure that the ring you choose gets her head over heels.
A diamond is elegant, timeless and classic. The formation of a diamond is quite remarkable. Its strength, durability and beauty are the perfect symbol of your love and commitment to her.
The four most important aspects of a diamond, also known as ‘the 4 C’s’ are cut, carat, color and clarity.
Cut refers to the shape of the diamond. Round cut, cushion cut, emerald cut, and radiant cut are just a few examples of diamond cuts. In general, rounds are about 20-30% more expensive than the other cuts.
Carat refers to the size/weight of the diamond. The larger the carat weight, the more expensive the diamond.
The final two C’s are considered to be the most important aspects when buying a diamond- color and clarity.
The diamond Color evaluation of most diamonds is based on the absence of color. It’s all about what you can’t see. A diamond’s value is determined by how closely it approaches colorlessness; the less color present, the higher their value. Most diamonds found in jewelry stores scale from colorless (D, E, F) to near-colorless (G, H, I, J). The farther down the scale you go, the more visible a tint of yellow or brown will be. Many of these color distinctions are so subtle that in most cases, it is invisible to the untrained eye. But those subtle differences make a big difference in diamond quality and price.
Clarity Natural diamonds are the result of carbon exposed to tremendous heat and pressure deep in the earth. This process may result in a variety of internal characteristics called inclusions and external characteristics called blemishes. The less inclusions and blemishes found in a diamond, the higher its value. Many blemishes and inclusions are too small to be seen by anyone other than a diamond grader. To the naked eye, a VS2 (Very Slightly Included) and an SI2 (Slightly Included) may look exactly the same, although they are different in regards to overall quality.
In general, women desire larger carat weight and higher color. The reason for that is because size and color is what women can see with the naked eye. With that being said, if there is any need to sacrifice on any aspect of a diamond due to budget, it is preferable to sacrifice on clarity and ‘get the most for your money’ in regards to carat weight and color.
After considering the perfect diamond, the next step is to decide on the engagement ring setting. There are thousands and thousands of various and distinct engagement ring settings. Each has a unique style, pattern, and flair. With so many options out there, how do you know where to start? Well, in most cases, women, in some way or another, hint to their other halves what ring they’d love to wear. A ‘tag’ on Instagram, a ‘like’ on Facebook, or a ‘retweet’ on Twitter. Women turn to social media when searching for the perfect ring. If there is no such social media to turn to, try and get some information out of her closest family and friends. Girls LOVE to talk about diamonds. If there is still no luck, go with your gut and instinct; choose something you know she’d love. Worst case scenario, if you have no idea what setting to choose and prefer to not involve family and friends quite yet, go with the safe choice- choose a diamond and have it set in a plain solitaire mounting. After you’ve proposed (and she had no idea it was coming), you can always go back and have the stone reset in a setting of her choice.
What type of metal is most preferable for engagement rings?
The two most popular options for engagement ring settings are Platinum and 18 Karat White Gold. In general, platinum is slightly more expensive than white gold.Platinum is naturally white. This is how it is found in nature. White gold, on the other hand, is yellow in nature. Its white color is due to a mixture of alloys that give it its color. Because of its natural yellow color, white gold tends to discolor over time. In some cases, platinum is preferable to white gold, and in other cases, either would suffice. For example, a solitaire diamond engagement ring, which is comprised of a center stone and plain band, is preferable to be set in platinum. With a platinum setting, there will be no discoloration. On the other hand, if a setting is covered in diamonds, the discoloration of a white gold band wouldn’t be much of an issue because most of the metal is covered with diamonds